13 in 15: New Year, New Skills

The year is coming to a close. I’ve taken a look back at the skills I’d set out to master in 2014 and made a new list for 2015.

A few of my proposed skills smack of New Year’s resolutions, but I think it takes some skill to stick to a resolution so fitness and meal planning made the list.

1. Publishing
I’ve been encouraged by family and friends to attempt to publish some of the stories I’ve written over the past year. I admit, I would love to see some (or all) of my stories in print. I of coursethink they are great (she says modestly), but I’m not so sure I’m up for the rejection that comes with sending them out to publishers.

I worry about criticism. Constructive criticism is welcome and I look forward to it, but mean-spirited criticism, without any attempt at civility? Am I ready for that? Can I handle it?

I sure hope so.

2. Seed Saving
We’ve been saying for a few years now that we are going to start saving seeds. We mean well at the beginning of the season but somehow, whether it is because we are tired or lazy, we barely even try. We tell each other that we will just do it next year, when we’ve really had time to research it.

Well, just like we plan to get to all of those indoor projects in the cold months, we plan to actually research seed save this year.

No, really.

3. Concealed Carry
I am so much more comfortable around handguns since taking the Women on Target class. This year, my husband and I are going to start the concealed carry permit process.

We’ll need 16 hours of instruction, class work and live fire, in order to qualify. I’m looking forward to learning more about the laws surrounding concealed carry and to getting more target practice in.

4. Reloading
This one has been on our list for several years now. Since we are going to apply for our concealed carry permits…it’s high time we get going on reloading as well.

5. Auto maintenance
In November, my husband asked me if I wanted to learn how to change my oil. Even though auto maintenance was on the list for 2014, I told him no. Why? Oh, laziness was part of it and…nope, it was all just laziness.

I’m a fair-weather-learn-to-change-my-oil kind of gal, so in the spring or summer, I’ll master this skill (or at least try it once).

6. Sewing
Now that I’ve mastered, ok, attempted to master…fine, now that I’ve sewed one hem (and rather poorly), I’m going to try sewing a simple pattern such as an apron or a pillowcase. Should be easy enough, right?

7. Essential Oils
I’ve taken the plunge and bought an essential oil starter kit from Young Living. It came with a 450 page quick start guide and, I’m told, that there is a bigger guide for more detailed info on each oil. Yikes.

I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my mood and health since I’ve started diffusing essential oils in my home. It may all be in my head, but I do feel better so…doesn’t that mean it is working? Even if it is all a figment of my imagination?

8. Back to “prepping”
We’ve been lax on our prepping skills and I’m not sure why. Sure we garden, raise chickens and have been working hard building up our homestead, but we’ve let many of the other parts of prepping slide.


We need to get better at food and water storage, home defense, 72 hour kits in the vehicles and the list goes on. We will slowly get back up on track, and it’s not just a matter of checking things off the list…it’s keeping those boxes checked and making preparedness a habit.

9. Curriculum Planning
Now here is one I keep pushing back. I keep saying, “Oh, I’ll get on that next month” and then the month comes and goes with no progress on curriculum planning.

This winter, I will start researching and planning in earnest and we will get back to a routine of sorts.

10. Meal Planning
I firmly believe that this is a skill. It takes a great deal of organization to plan meals and stick to it every month. It takes skill to make the grocery list and determine which store has the best price…and it’s not always Aldi.

Pinterest is an excellent resource for both the meals and the organization. The skill will be sticking to it.

11. Stocks and Investing
We’ve been meeting with a financial adviser and have become more interested in making our money “work for us”. Since we plan to invest, I’m going to do the responsible thing and learn more about the ins and outs of investing, mutual funds, bonds…all of that other scary financial jargon.

12. Fitness
I know, I know. Everyone has the fitness goal at the start of every new year, and it’s not so much a skill as it is a resolution. I’m putting it here, on my whiteboard, on a sticky note on my bathroom mirror, in my car and pretty much anywhere I can see it in order to keep myself motivated.

Right now, I’m participating in a 30-day arm challenge and at the first of the year I’m going to start a 30-day ab challenge. I’m also going to join a fitness club, both to meet people and to get fit.

13. Blogging
This year, I really am going to focus on this skill. I’ve been blogging for two years now and have 200+ followers so it is high time to start networking and learning how to make the most of the blogging world. I’m going to start with Five Minutes with Jack and see where that leads me.

So there is the list
The daunting and scary list
Challenge accepted

5 responses to “13 in 15: New Year, New Skills

  1. That is an awesome list!!! I just got a reloader for hubby for christmas… Excited to get started!!

  2. Go go go!!! I procrastinated on ALL skills for 2013, and have decided to get something DONE in 2014. I am HIGHLY encouraged by your words and wish you the best of luck this year!

  3. Pingback: 13 in 16: Skills and Goals for the New Year | a pinch of homestead

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